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Saturday 27 February 2021

The latest on the inter-county future of Donegal's Qatar-based goalkeeper

Paul Durcan has not played for Donegal since last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final.

DONEGAL USED 21 players as their Allianz football league campaign drew to a close yesterday with semi-final defeat against Dublin in Croke Park.

Paul Durcan Paul Durcan in action for Donegal against Mayo last year. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

But it was the future of a player who was not present in GAA headquarters, that featured prominently in the post-match discussion with Donegal boss Rory Gallagher.

Goalkeeper Paul Durcan, an Allstar winner in 2012 and 2014, moved to the Qatari capital Doha last year.

He returned home for each of Ballyboden St-Enda’s assignments through Dublin and Leinster last winter before featuring in the All-Ireland club series this spring that culminated in the St Patrick’s Day final win over Castlebar Mitchels.

Paul Durcan Paul Durcan in action on All-Ireland club final day. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

But Durcan has not played for Donegal since last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final loss to Mayo.

Following yesterday’s defeat, Donegal are not out in action again until 12 June when they commence their Ulster championship campaign.

Gallagher revealed there is a ‘willingness’ on Durcan’s part to return but whether it is feasible remains uncertain.

“I wish I had a euro for everybody that asked me that in the last couple of months,” laughed Gallagher, when asked about Durcan’s future.

“Paul (is) unsure of his situation, as has been the case.

“We wanted to get Ballyboden out of the way, he obviously had to talk to his work out there.

“There’s a willingness to come back but he just, we’ll have to wait and see is it possible.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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